Sara is a Lecturer in Nursing at the Sydney-based campus of the University of Tasmania. Her clinical background is in palliative care nursing in which she has wide-ranging experience across acute, specialist and residential aged care. Sara’s research interests include care of the older person, palliative care and the teaching of palliative care philosophy and principles to nursing students and nurses. Sara’s PhD research through Western Sydney University’s Aged Care and Palliation research stream focused on the residential aged care workforce and palliation. Sara was project officer on the first funded research project in Australia to evaluate Namaste Care in residential aged care facilities. Currently, Sara is leading a project to implement and evaluate the benefits of Namaste Care in an aged care ward within a teaching hospital in Greater Sydney.
Sheila Gordon is a registered nurse with additional studies in gerontology. She has been working in the long term care sector since 1982. First as a unit nurse and then as director of care with multiple organizations, she found her true nursing passion in working with the elderly. Over time Sheila has seen the care of the elderly evolve into a specialty in its own right. While celebrating improvements in quality of life for those in care, it was evident to her the needs of everyone were still not being met. In 2016 Sheila embraced the opportunity to participate in and lead Namaste Care for end stage dementia residents at Saskatoon Convalescent Home in Saskatchewan, Canada.She is very excited to share and learn and grow through Namaste Care International.
Professor Dana Hadrova
Dana Hradcová is managing director of the Centre of Longevity and Long-term Care at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague. In her research, Dana explores questions related to care ethics, and ethics of long term care, especially for people with dementia and people with learning difficulties. Dana explores relations in which people, together with articles and animals improvise and experiment in their search for good care. She also works as trainer and consultant for the Czech Alzheimer Society and provides consultancy in social and health services for people with mental health problems and people with learning difficulties.
After leaving universityMin worked as an auxiliary nurse at St Christopher’s Hospice, London subsequently training as a registered nurse in Cardiff and then specialising in care of older people. She managed a “long stay” ward at Colindale Hospital while working part time as a research assistant with Professor Dame June Clarke at Middlesex University. Min returned to St Christopher’s Hospice as a staff nurse, then worked in the community as a palliative care CNS for 10 years. During this time she studied for an MSc in palliative care at King’s College, London. In 2009 she moved to work as Nurse Facilitator for End of Life Care for People with Dementia with the Modernisation Initiative’s End of life Care programme (Guy’s and St Thomas’s Charity). In 2011, she returned to St Christopher’s to work with the Care Home Project Team as nurse researcher for the Namaste Care Programme Action Research Study. She worked at St Christopher’s Hospice, between the education department and the community palliative care service for frail older people, until 2015. Min has continued to teach on the Namaste Care programme and palliative care for people with dementia, lecturing nationally and internationally.
Lena started working as a social worker in a small municipality of the island of Crete. Since 2007 she has worked in close care settings with elderly people and people with dementia. Lena is now assistant director of two units, ‘Hliaxtida’ (meaning sunshine’for people with dementia and ‘Irida’ (colours of the rainbow) for elderly people with chronic diseases and serious health problems. She is responsible for client admissions, activity programmes, staff education and practical trainingof university nursing and social work students and also supports and educates relatives caring for the elderly.With a special interest in design, organisation and implementation of activities for the elderly,Lena is constantly searching for new ways to improve the quality of life of elderly people living in close care settings. She is one of the first members of the Alzheimer’s Association in her home city of Heraklion. Lena is an expert speaker educating the public on dementia issues and is a member of a scientific team implementing memory enhancement programmes for dementia patients. She is also a member of a new association – “Reading for Others” – and is responsible for its volunteer training.Lena is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health and Social Medicine at the Medical University of Greece.
Elfa graduated from the University of Iceland with a BSc in Nursing. She subsequently gained a Masters degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, specialising in Geriatric and Palliative care. During graduate school she worked as project assistant for Professor Karin Kirchhof on end of life research. Elfa completed an internship in advance practice nursing at the University of Iceland. She was a research assistant at the University of Iceland and undertook a supervising course in geriatric nursing. Elfa is currently Clinical Nurse Specialist, Landspítali and Adjunct in Geriatric Nursing, University of Iceland.
Dr Hanneke Smaling
Hanneke Smaling has Master’s degrees in Clinical Neuropsychology and Organizational Psychology. She did her PhD from 2011-2016 at Leiden University. Hanneke works one day a week as an assistant professor at the department of clinical neurodevelopment studies at Leiden University. She also works four days a week as a postdoctoral researcher at the VU medical center in Amsterdam on the research project ‘Effects on quality of life and family caregiving experience by the Namaste Care Family program for advanced dementia’. For this study, Hanneke has trained nursing staff of ten nursing homes in the Netherlands and helped them implement Namaste Care in their homes.
Dr Lorna Reid
Lorna has responsibility for a range of educational outreach programmes to care homes. She was the project lead for the Abbey Pain Scale Project, the SPAR (Supportive and Palliative Action Register) Project in 12 local care homes and the Namaste Care Pilot Project. From this work Lorna also developed the first Namaste Care Course to be offered in Scotland, which is now delivered twice a year in partnership with Ayrshire Hospice. Lorna graduated from Napier University with a PhD in 2017. Her study explored the social organisation of advance care planning conversations in a Residential Care Home which put complex decision-making conversations firmly but inappropriately into the hands of Senior Social Care Workers. Her specific areas of interest are, promoting comfort and hope through Namaste Care, palliative care in care homes and communication skills. She is an accredited trainer for Sage & Thyme® Communication Skills and a facilitator of advanced communication skills training (Trained by Maguire Communication Skills Unit, Christie School of Oncology, Manchester).
Dr Tan Weng Mooi
Mooi is a pharmacist by training with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and Executive MBA. She has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector. Presently, she is the Chief of the Community Mental Health Division in the Agency for Integrated Care. To enable “Integrated Community Living, Ageing In Place”, she leads the development of the dementia and community mental health sector by building capacity and capability of the service providers, developing integrated network to enhance care coordination across the health and social care sectors to empower clients, caregivers and the community. She also proactively engages the stakeholders to identify emerging trends and co-develop innovative new care models. Prior to that, she was the Chief Project Officer in the National Healthcare Group. She was Chief Operating Officer of the Institute of Mental Health from January 2006 to July 2010, and was the group COO of Econ Healthcare prior to that. From 2000 to 2005, she was Director of Operations at National University Hospital. She also spent 11 years in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, first as Chief Pharmacist and then as Director, Clinical Support Services/Allied Health Services.
Rev. Nancy Twichell
Discerning and answering the call to serve God, Chaplain Nancy Twichell has worked in a variety of ministerial positions providing pastoral care support for homebound members of a congregation, spiritual and emotional support for terminally ill patients and their families, and as chaplain at Miravida Living.Nancy is a certified dementia specialist and Namaste Care Leader. With an abiding commitment to better care for people living with dementia, she has fully implemented and most recently, expanded the program at Bethel Home (128-bed skilled nursing facility). Nancy has also incorporated other programs into Namaste Care like Noah’s Landing (introducing dogs and cats into resident life), TimeSlips and music therapy. The impact of Namaste Care is so meaningful, Nancy works with the University of Wisconsin College of Nursing and regularly offers training to future health care professionals resulting in UWO-CON adding Namaste Care to its curriculum.With a generous spirit and enthusiasm for Namaste Care, Nancy frequently shares information with providers interested in replicating the program and presents the program at area conferences.
Music Therapy, USA
Heidi has a Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Arizona State University and a BA in Music with emphasis on vocal performance. After receiving her board certification and licensure in music therapy she worked for 4 years in end of life care for Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care. Heidi was the first music therapist to direct Camp Kangaroo, the children’s bereavement camp funded by the Seasons Hospice Foundation. She also created the Legacy newsletters for Seasons Hospice which shares the hospice legacy projects throughout the community. Heidi is now the National Special Programs Community Educator as well as the USA Namaste Champion and speaks all over the nation on her expertise of programs such as Music Therapy, Leaving a Legacy, Namaste Care, Camp Kangaroo and much more. She also splits her time as a professional vocalist and has starred in shows on the Las Vegas strip, Tokyo Disneyland and other venues worldwide. Heidi has a passion for end of life, person-centered care and enhancing the quality of people’s lives during their last days.
Kimberley St John
Kim is a specialist palliative care nurse based in London, UK. In 2012 she visited the USA to study and adapt the Namaste Care programme for use in UK hospitals. Namaste Care has been introduced to two London teaching hospitals and this work continues to grow. Currently undertaking a Darzi fellowship, Kim leads projects that aim to improve the experience of talking about end of life care for patients, carers and professionals.